Monday, January 21, 2008

Is Geriatrics Needed In Africa?

Geriatrics is a field is medical care that concerns care for the aged. Just like we have pediatrics that has to do with care of children. The question is why should we worry about care for the elderly? Medical research has shown that human beings tend towards childlike characteristics in psychologically and medically. For instance children have very low immunity due to underdeveloped systems and are prone to Gram negative infections. The underdeveloped Liver portends that every single drop of medication given to them should be properly calculated to prevent over dose as the liver is yet to fully assume it function of detoxification drugs. We have also noticed that as human beings grow older some of these characteristics of children begin to emerge again and they become more and more prone to infections, as well as easily loose concentration and in most cases memory lose.
The degenerative changes noticed in the elderly can lead to conditions as Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s disease, and some other kind of dementia.
In Africa we have a culture of caring for our elderly by leaving someone to always be there with them at home. However today, things are no longer the way it used to be with increasing inter-tribal marriages and traveling, the aged no longer have the care they deserve. Shouldn’t Africa take Geriatrics more seriously? In the United States of America, it is a serious issue that the government comes up with policies after policies on the care of the aged.
Individuals who need such can either visit Geriatricians or care homes who may even have Geriatricians in their employ to give adequate care. To search for caring home, people can visit online forums like Better Caring Forums to receive information about good caring homes in the country and even discuss with others about their personal experiences with this homes.
While I do not suggest Governments in Africa should take over the care of our aged, I do think it will make a nice addition to our health care system if we begin to train geriatricians.


Anonymous said...

This idea was on my mind all night, and as I researched it, I came across your blog!
You're absolutely right and thanks for bringing up the topic!

emmanuel said...

Thanks for the comment. This is an issue that our government has refused to even look into and it doesn't seem anyone in the health sector is particularly interested in it.
NB: i will appreciate it if commentators use their real names in order to give your comments an identity.

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